If you have an addiction, for example to alcohol or drugs, then undertaking a rehab program may be your best option for breaking free of it. Rehab programs can be divided into three broad types, short-term (usually up to a month), medium-term (usually around 90 days), and long-term (around 6 months). Here is what you need to know about the different types of programs.

Shorter-term rehab programs are for milder issues

Short-term rehab programs are best suited to cases where the intervention has been made early. In other words, where the individual has had minimal time to do themselves any damage. Once a person starts to experience the negative consequences of an addiction, they are likely to need more in-depth help to break free of it. This generally means a longer rehab program.

Medium-term rehab programs allow more time for therapy

The big difference between a short-term program and a medium-term program is that short-term programs have to focus mainly on the actual physical detox. Medium-term programs (and longer-term programs) have more time to address the psychological aspects of the addiction.

Firstly, medium-term programs will explore the issues which led to the person becoming addicted in the first place. If the person has managed periods without substance abuse but has relapsed, they will also look at the causes of the relapse. If there has been more than one relapse, they will try to determine if there has been a single trigger or multiple triggers.

Secondly, medium-term programs will look closely at the role the substance plays in a person’s life. They will try to determine whether the addiction brings the addict any benefits (real or imagined). If so, they will look for alternative, healthy, ways to achieve those same benefits.

For example, an addiction may be closely linked with a person’s social life. Giving up the substance may therefore mean giving up their current circle of friends, or at least acquaintances. The program may therefore help them to develop a new social circle.

Long-term rehab programs have time to address health issues

The big difference between a medium-term program and a long-term program is that long-term programs have more time to address health issues. If a person has been abusing a substance for an extended period, there is a very strong chance that they have caused themselves mental and/or physical damage.

This can often set up a vicious circle. Substance abuse causes damage but numbs the pain of it. This encourages the addict to keep using the substance, for pain relief, and hence causes them to do themselves more damage. Breaking this cycle is essential if a person is to stay clean (and healthy) over the long term.

Longer-term programs will therefore follow the detox with a combination of therapy and medical treatment. Both will be tailored to the specific needs of the person being treated. They will, however, commonly address issues such as mental illness (brought on by substance abuse) and malnutrition (brought about by lack of personal care).

Staff at high-quality rehab centers have a great deal of experience in recognizing and treating the sort of health issues regularly experienced by addicts. They will also be familiar with all treatment options currently available for them.

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